Looking for DIY Electrical Tips? Here’s One–Don’t

We know how tempting it might be to do your own electrical work. It’s the age of the DIY homeowner, where everyone in Culpeper County feels empowered to build their own decks, add their own tile to the bathroom and more. We’re all for DIY, except when it comes to electrical work. That’s not just because we’re electricians at Culpeper Home Services.

No matter how much money you’re saving, it’s not worth the risk to your life that comes from DIY electrical work. Very few homeowners have the knowledge and equipment to do electrical work safely, and even if they do, they are often risking insurance and warranty problems.

What Safety Equipment Do You Need?

Anyone working on electrical lines needs a range of safety equipment as a bare minimum to stay safe. That includes:

  • Voltmeter or other testing equipment in order to see if the line is active or not, and what voltage is running through it.
  • Safety glasses to protect your eyes from sparks and other hazards.
  • Electrical work gloves that are insulated to protect your hands and the rest of you.
  • Boots or shoes with rubber soles to insulate your feet and reduce the odds that you’re shocked.
  • Insulated tools that won’t pass the electrical current onto you through the metal.
  • An insulated ladder that won’t pass a shock onto you and will reduce your odds of injury.
  • A long sleeve shirt to protect your arms.

While safety equipment is important, by far the most important thing is knowledge of how electrical systems work. Without that knowledge, you won’t know how to use these tools and equipment to keep yourself safe. You won’t know when to test wires when the results should be, and how to ensure that you are insulated from the lines. 

Becoming an electrician takes years of training and supervision from those who are more experienced. Without that education, you are putting yourself at great risk of being shocked and injured, potentially even seriously.

Building Codes in Culpeper County

Do you understand the electrical codes in your city and how to make sure that your work follows them? Violating the building code could get you in trouble with city authorities. This could be a problem when you try to sell your home, as the home inspector will find electrical work that isn’t up to code. You will likely end up hiring an electrician to fix your work anyway, and this can even be more expensive than it would have been to just get the electrical work done to code by a professional in the first place.

Worse, not following electrical codes could create electrical accidents in your home. The building code is designed to minimize the risks of fires and other accidents. Breaking it is a serious liability. Today’s rates of house fires have been significantly reduced because modern electrical code is so safe. You don’t want to put your family at risk by having an electrical system that isn’t up to date.

Home Insurance and Warranties

You can void the terms of your home insurance and warranties on your electrical appliances by doing your own electrical work. It is as if you stepped onto your own roof and added some shingles, and then got a leak. The insurance company will only pay for mistakes made by the professionals. 

By getting up onto your roof, you took on the risk of a leak yourself. Often, the same is true for electrical work. Warranties on washing machines, computers, and other electrical equipment may also be void due to improper electrical work. A surge in your electrical system can destroy expensive electronics.

Injuries and Death

The most important risk that you face when doing your own electrical work is electric shock injuries and even death. A home has 110-volt wiring. This is enough to do very serious damage to you, and even kill you if the circumstances are wrong. The risk is increased for people with pacemakers and heart conditions. Still, anyone can be very seriously hurt by minor electrical mistakes. Even electricians get hurt, but their knowledge means that it usually isn’t serious.

Avoid the risks and liability that come with doing your own electrical work and call up the professionals. At Culpeper Home Services we aren’t looking to gouge you. We charge honest prices that reflect the risks associated with our work. You can feel confident and comfortable choosing us to work on your home.